Starting on the path of a new career or pondering between different career paths can be an exciting, yet stressful time. Changing careers, particularly after a certain age, can also be scary. Yet, for many, it may be necessary. Plenty of today’s jobs are under threat of automation. And even though technology actually creates more jobs than it destroys, some industries, such as transportation or manufacturing, to name a few, are still seeing net negatives.
The same thing cannot be said about the Information Technology (I.T.) industry, however. This sector is arguably the biggest beneficiary, probably alongside the entertainment and media industry. Tech jobs are at an all-time high as the tech sector is ballooning in size with every passing year. As such, the skill gap is enormous and it’s only expected to widen. This makes skilled or I.T. certified professionals an asset for every organization. Job seekers looking to work in Information Technology have plenty of opportunities awaiting them.
But like any other industry, I.T. is not some sort of utopia, and it has its own series of advantages and disadvantages. To that end, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons, so you can decide for yourself whether Information Technology careers are right for you.
MyComputerCareer will teach you all the top skills needed to make it in the industry and kick start your I.T. career. We provide both on-site and online training, as well as career advice for eager adults willing to become an information technology specialist. So, do not hesitate; contact us today!
Pro: Tech Jobs are Well Paid
When it comes to computer and information technology jobs, the average wage is way above the median annual wage for all other occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual wage for tech jobs in 2018 was $86,320. By comparison, for all other industries, the average was at $38,640. Obviously, these salaries will vary based on skill, seniority, and geographical location, but even an entry-level Help-Desk professional can earn around the $38,000 mark.
In fact, the median pay for Computer Support Specialists was $53,470 per year in 2018. Network and Computer Systems Administrators, as well as Information Security Analysts, earned, on average, $82,050 and $98,350, respectively. Add on top of that the many employee benefits, such as health care, paid parental leave, 401(k), tuition reimbursements, education incentives, etc.
Con: Tech Jobs are Stressful
Stress will probably be part of the job description when working in I.T. If you’re in a Help-Desk position, you’ll likely have to deal with all sorts of people who’ve already lost their patience with their computers. Systems Administrators, Network Administrators, or anyone who has anything to do with cybersecurity will also be under a great deal of stress. The nature of their job will always keep them on high alert, while even the smallest mistake can cause big problems.
It’s also important to note that most I.T. jobs work on deadlines. Network Administrators, for instance, are often called to create user accounts or test new systems by a certain date. It’s not uncommon for these deadlines to be completely unreasonable for the amount of work required, but you will be expected to deliver nonetheless.
Pro: Tech Jobs Provide Great Job Security
As we said in the beginning, the tech industry is growing at an accelerated rate. According to the same BLS data from above, the number of I.T. jobs are projected to grow by 12% from 2018 to 2028. That’s an additional 546,200 new jobs over the coming years. In the cybersecurity sector alone, there is a global shortage of two million skilled professionals. Every year in the U.S., 40,000 jobs for information security analysts go unfilled.
Because of this widening skill gap in cybersecurity, only 1% of organizations can say that their security demands are met, while 85% find themselves understaffed. As such, earning a certificate in information security can make you pretty hard to replace. And while this sector is the most affected, all other I.T. occupations are in a similar position.
Con: Other People
An annoying part of working in I.T. that you’ll probably run into are your coworkers who’ll likely ask you to fix all sorts of issues with their personal gadgets and computers. It won’t really matter if this is part of your job description or not since less tech-savvy people won’t be able to see the difference between the different technology careers out there. If you’re in tech, you should know how to troubleshoot their Windows XP.
Another piece of career advice, or better yet, a career warning, we can give in this regard is how much people will lie to you. Most likely from embarrassment or fear of being reprimanded, many end-users won’t admit to how their computer got a virus or why it suddenly stopped working. This leaves you spending precious time trying to figure it out on your own. What’s worse, third-party vendors are also likely to lie to you as well about their software’s lack of bugs or other issues.
Pro & Con: Time Management
We’ve already mentioned that most I.T. jobs work on deadlines, which makes time management difficult as it is. Another thing to keep in mind here is that security breaches, crashed servers, or other such problems won’t keep track of your schedule. This means that you could be called upon to deal with an emergency at any given moment, day or night. You’ll be similar to an on-duty firefighter or paramedic in this regard.
The positive of all of this is that most organizations realize this and won’t usually keep you tied to a strict 9-to-5 schedule like most other employees. This will free you up to make your own schedule, achieve a bit of that work-life balance people keep talking about, and even telecommute on occasion.
Pro & Con: Constant Learning
The I.T. industry is a quickly evolving organism. What is relevant today may become obsolete tomorrow. Tech professionals are, therefore, required to constantly keep themselves up-to-date on the latest trends and developments, learn new skills, and fall into the common trap of thinking they know enough. Not even those in apparently stable professions, like health care or human resources, can afford to stagnate, let alone people in tech
While some may think that this is an additional step they have to take on top of all their already long hours, others view it as an opportunity to learn and expand their horizons. Most job seekers looking to enter the tech world know this already. Constant learning means multiple career paths that they can take. And when it comes to I.T., picking up a new skill, be it in programming languages or even something as seemingly unrelated as the social media industry, is sound career advice.
With so many I.T. certifications and helpful resources out there, becoming a network security professional, system administrator, or database management specialist can be achieved in a matter of months, not years. And what’s more, the tech sector also favors employees who are versed in more than one specialization. This versatility will make job searching that much easier.
While there may be other advantages and disadvantages to working in I.T., these were our editor’s picks, which are considered to be the most relevant. If this list has helped you make up your mind, know that MyComputerCareer provides rigorous Information Technology courses that can help you earn up to 13 highly valuable I.T. Certifications.
We also provide career advice services, helping you with resume and cover letter writing, interview coaching, networking, and job placement opportunities. For any related questions, job alerts, or helpful resources, contact us today, and you’ll be on your way before you know it!